Emily Blunt 'completely shocked' to be first choice for Mary Poppins

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 19 November 2018
Emily Blunt

Emily Blunt

Emily Blunt has confessed she was "completely shocked" and astounded when she found out she was Rob Marshall's first choice for the role of Mary Poppins

Emily Blunt was "completely shocked" and "slightly terrified" when she found out she was the first choice for Mary Poppins.

The 'Devil Wears Prada' actress was so taken back by director Rob Marshall asking her to take on the iconic role for the sequel, 'Mary Poppins Returns', that she thought he was asking her to marry him.

Recalling their phone conversation on 'The Ellen DeGeneres Show', she said: "He called me, and I'd been friends with him for a while, and I knew there was sort of a different energy behind this phone call, it was so charged and he was so excited to tell me this news.

"I thought, he's going to ask me to marry him.

"This is where I get married to Rob Marshall like it was building towards that.

"He was like: 'Emily, we've been looking for something to do and we are going to do Mary Poppins.'

"I was like (speechless) I felt my hair sort of blow back.

"I was just completely shocked and terrified."

When host Ellen asked if she had no idea about it until the call, she replied: "Nothing about it.

"No it was completely new to me.

"It was such a ceremonious phone call, and then you realise why.

This is such an iconic character, and then you realise how much of an imprint she's made on people, and the first movie is so beloved."

Emily recalled how when she told one of her close pal's she landed the part, she replied: 'Ooh, you've got balls of steel.'

She added: "I was like, 'don't say that', it's terrifying."

'Marry Poppins Returns', a sequel to the 1964 classic, which starred Dame Julie Andrews in the titular role, is set to hit cinemas on December 25, and focuses on some of the material featured in P.L. Travers' seven additional novels.

An official synopsis for the movie reads: "In Depression-era London, a now-grown Jane and Michael Banks, along with Michael's three children, are visited by the enigmatic Mary Poppins following a personal loss.

"Through her unique magical skills, and with the aid of her friend Jack, she helps the family rediscover the joy and wonder missing in their lives."

The new character of Jack, a street lamp lighter, will be played by Lin-Manuel Miranda.

On the "darker" plot, which sees the magical nanny return to look after Jane and Michael Banks' children, Emily said: "It is a sequel that is set 30 years after the original ... it's set during the Great Depression, so it's a bit of a darker backdrop."

Mary Poppins Returns

  • 4 stars
  • 2018
  • US
  • 2h 10min
  • PG
  • Directed by: Rob Marshall
  • Cast: Emily Blunt, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ben Whishaw, Emily Mortimer, Julie Walters, Dick Van Dyke, Angela Lansbury, Colin Firth, Meryl Streep

Michael Banks (Whishaw) is facing ruin after the death of his wife, and his sister Jane (Mortimer) can’t help—but then Mary Poppins (Blunt) sails down from the sky. Blunt is suitably brusque and radiant and a fine songstress, and while it’s a sliver of a story it’s impressively imaginative and unashamedly, triumphantly…

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